By Mable Nakibuuka
Kampala Lord Mayor Hajji Erias Lukwago, who is part of National Unity Platform (NUP) principal Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine’s legal team, has castigated the Chief Justice Alphonse Owiny-Dollo for the way he has handled the presidential petition.
Owiny-Dollo, who heads the Supreme Court of Uganda, has been severally portrayed by Bobi Wine and his NUP camp as a judge who is very impartial, biased and working on the instructions of President Museveni, who is the respondent in the matter and it is because of the allegations above that Bobi Wine decided to withdraw the petition from the Supreme Court.
However, according to Counsel Lukwago, CJ Owiny-Dollo committed what is known in legal jargon as a ‘Miscarriage of Justice’.
“In all honesty, and with the utmost respect, Justice Owinyi Dollo, who ought to have executed a noble duty of a midwife or handmaid of Justice has instead facilitated an abortion or miscarriage of justice,” Lukwago wrote on social media, Thursday morning.
Lukwago’s full statement:
“The doctrine of ‘Judicial Activism’, enunciated in the US constitutional jurisprudence in the mid-20th century, is such a potent weapon in non-violent revolutions as well as guaranteeing constitutional or political stability.
Countries like India managed to stave off catastrophic political upheavals using this legal-political tool which has since become a rockbed for robust state structures and systems in a number of strong democracies.
This ‘legal innovation’ enjoins the judicial arm of the state to be ingenious enough to the extent of defying orthodox of conventional fetters in dealing with potentially explosive political or constitutional matters.
Simply put, the judiciary, as a bastion of Rule of Law and constitutional governance, carries on its shoulders a daunting task of jealously protecting the sovereignty of the people and averting a political or constitutional crisis, even in circumstances that warrant doing so ‘suo-motu’ (on their own volition).
The judicial bodies in Kenya and Malawi demonstrated aspects of this novel doctrine in the recent presidential election petitions.
I would like to believe that it’s the spirit of that same doctrine that informed the provisions of Art 104 of our Constitution which commands the Supreme Court to INQUIRE into-as proposed to healing-a presidential election petition.
In all honesty, and with the utmost respect Justice Owinyi Dollo, who ought to have executed a noble duty of a midwife or handmaid of Justice has instead facilitated an abortion or miscarriage of justice.
The petition before him was not about Hon. Kyagulanyi but the political and constitutional stability of Uganda, and the prosperity.
Slamming the judicial doors in the face of Kyagulanyi’s lawyers loaded with voluminous affidavit evidence on account of minor infractions or delay by an hour or two obviously amounted to abdication of that noble duty.
It’s now abundantly clear to all and sundry, particularly to peace-loving Ugandans of different political persuasions that the lifeline to salvation of our motherland lies in Art 3 of the constitution.”
It should be noted that whereas Bobi Wine’s lawyer Medard Lubega Ssegona filed his application and affidavit for withdrawal of the petition, Owiny-Dollo rejected the same and instructed him to first have the application for withdrawal published in the Uganda gazette before it can be considered by court.
Owiny-Dollo also instructed Counsel Ssegona to accompany the application for withdrawal with his sworn affidavit as head of Bobi Wine’s legal team, noting that the petition shall remain in court until it is disposed of or otherwise as shall be decided upon by the court.